Six telcos to have equity in DNB, 5G rollout in Sept

by AUFA MARDHIAH / pic credit:

SIX telco companies have agreed to hold equity in Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB), says Minister of Communications and Multimedia Tan Sri Annuar Musa.

He announced this following the special briefing on the National 5G Implementation by DNB yesterday.

The next process will be followed by a final consultation on the price and so on. This will then give the six companies the opportunity to do due diligence and evaluation methods for the purpose of implementing the actual roll out.

By July 8, certain documents will be formalised and will be signed, then given a period to make the due diligence process so that by September users can receive roll out 5G service in stages according to the area available infrastructure by DNB.

“I am delighted because the roll out that was hold up for several months (due to the determination of the single host network model that was appealed to be changed) has now a solution that is accepted by all parties,” he said during the monitoring of the jihad special forces tackling inflation yesterday.

On the other hand, Augustus Ralph Marshall, DNB chief executive, denied the allegations of telcos receiving discounts on 5G wholesale pricing.

“I think that it is erroneous. We do have 5G available for free until June 30, which was yesterday, and that is for anybody who now uses 5G. Whoever offers 5G services, will end up having to pay for it until they sign all the access agreements (reference access offer),” he said after the special briefing at Angkasapuri earlier.

Furthermore, he also informed that telco shares (ownership of shares in DNB) has nothing to do with how the telcos operate and there will be no change in policy, processes and objective of DNB.

Commenting further on DNB’s provisions for Celcom-Digi merger, he said the merge will allow Celcom-Digi to have a total of 22% to 23% shares in DNB; however it will not change DNB’s policies, objectives and deliverables of the 5G rollout.

He is grateful for the cooperation from all parties involved with the country’s 5G roll out as he quoted it as “an iconic situation globally” and informed that the 5G rollout will be available to the public in less than 2 months as it is still going on through process being finalised.

“I am very pleased with the cooperation and support of all parties (MOF, main comm, telcos, all people involved) – it is actually quite unique (an iconic situation globally) because not many countries in the world would actually take it as far as Malaysia has.

I think both MOF and the main com fought very seriously about what they want to achieve as an objective to the country – let’s reduce competition on the infra end and promote competition at the services end, which is what rakyat wants,” he added.

At the moment the 5G rollout has been completed at 25% and is expected to reach 40% at year end for the entire country – KL, Selangor, Johor, Penang will have 5G available by year end and soon after the rest of the state will follow.